BeAnalogic.com promotes and spreads the idea of analog photography, that is why we want to learn more about our users! “Outside Fridge” is a section of our website, where we interview our users. Why “Outside Fridge”? Often, analog photographers save their films in the fridge, to maintain the quality of celluloid. Once put, you can “relax and chat” with us. Today we interview Valentin Derrien.
Sebastiano: Who is Valentin Derrien?
Valentin: I am 23 years old, I was born and raised in Brittany, France. I then moved to Montreal, Canada for my studies. I am currently based in Lyon, France, where I am doing a masters degree in engineering.
Sebastiano: When did your passion for photography?
Valentin: Back in the days, when I was still living in Brittany, my garage was a total mess and between surfboards and skateboards were my grandpa’s old cameras : Zeiss Ikon Ikonta, Yashica Mat 124, Balda Baldessa… I asked my dad to show me the photographs : numerous black and white portraits and architecture pics. I was definitely intrigued.
Sebastiano: Do you remember when you took your first film roll pack?
Valentin: When I moved to Montreal in 2014, I decided to buy myself an analog camera to capture my new life in a different way than taking iPhone pics. So I bought an Olympus Trip35, a bunch of Tri-X400 rolls and started to shoot during a trip to Boston. I was totally charmed by the finish and it got me addicted to film photography.
Sebastiano: What do you like about film photography or photography in general?
Valentin: First of all, I love the texture of analog shots, the grain always surprises and amazes me. I also appreciate to take the time to find the best angle before capturing architecture instead of shooting many digital pics and then delete them all. On the other hand, the fact that I have to be very reactive to shoot people and their emotions is thrilling. And I definitely go for that feeling I have when I discover my photographs, this mix between anxiety and excitement is priceless.
Sebastiano: What kind of photography usually you shot and what kind of film cameras did you use?
Valentin: I still use my Olympus Trip35 and Kodak Tri-X400 films because I know perfectly how it works and I love the finish it gives me on black and white films. It is a really light camera, I always carry it with me and it never bothers me. It also takes very sharp pictures. And last but not least, it is one of the most beautiful cameras I’ve ever seen, I really love the black and silver colors and the selenium cell.
Sebastiano: What are the characteristics that distinguish you as a photographer?
Valentin: I don’t know, maybe the fact that I only shoot on b&w films… I love how it comes out when I print it! It allows me to play with the lights and shadows and I’m really found of that classic touch. It significantly increases the emotion and leaves the door open to imagination and interpretation. Along with the fact that I shoot pretty much everything, from faces to monuments…
Sebastiano: I see on your Instagram profile that you shoot people and places. Can you talk about this project?
Valentin: Well it is not a real project, I just love to shoot my everyday life : my friends, random people in the streets, skateboarding and surfing atmospheres, architecture… My camera is always close to me so I can react quickly and immortalize the moment. I don’t really anticipate what I’ll shoot.
Sebastiano: Who are the photographers that influenced your work?
Valentin: Many photographers influence my work : Robert Doisneau, Robert Capa or Dorothea Lange. But If I have to choose one between all those artists, it would be Henri Cartier-Bresson. I really love the approach he had to photography. I have received his book ‘The Decisive Moment’ a few years ago and it has been my Bible ever since !
Sebastiano: What is the future of film photography?
Valentin: I guess it’ll just get more and more popular and then it will go down like every other trends… Somehow it’s cool because we will see who truly love analog photography.
Sebastiano: Your plans for future?
Valentin: Keep on shooting as much as I can, travel and spend time with my family and friends!
If you want to know more about Valentin Derrien:
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